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A numerical model for the entire Wadden Sea: Skill assessment and analysis of hydrodynamics
Gräwe, U.; Flöser, G.; Gerkema, T.; Duran-Matute, M.; Badewien, T.H.; Schulz, E.; Burchard, H. (2016). A numerical model for the entire Wadden Sea: Skill assessment and analysis of hydrodynamics. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 121: 5231-5251. dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016JC011655
In: Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans. Wiley: Hoboken. ISSN 0148-0227, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Authors  Top 
  • Gräwe, U.
  • Flöser, G.
  • Gerkema, T., more
  • Duran-Matute, M., more
  • Badewien, T.H.
  • Schulz, E.
  • Burchard, H.

Abstract
    A baroclinic three-dimensional numerical model for the entire Wadden Sea of the GermanBight in the southern North Sea is first assessed by comparison to field data for surface elevation, currentvelocity, temperature, and salinity at selected stations and then used to calculate fluxes of volume and saltinside the Wadden Sea and the exchange between the Wadden Sea and the adjacent North Sea throughthe major tidal inlets. The model is simulating the reference years 2009–2011. An overview of tidal prismsand residual volume fluxes of the main inlets and their variability is given. In addition, data from an inten-sive observational campaign in a tidal channel south of the island of Spiekeroog as well as satellite imagesand observations of sea surface properties from a ship of opportunity are used for the skill assessment.Finally, the intensity of estuarine overturning circulation and its variability in the tidal gullies are quantifiedand analyzed as function of gravitational and wind straining using various estimates including TotalExchange Flow (TEF). Regional differences between the gullies are assessed and drivers of the estuarinecirculation are identified. For some inlets, the longitudinal buoyancy gradient dominates the exchange flow,for some others wind straining is more important. Also the intensity of tidal straining (scaled covariance ofeddy viscosity and vertical shear) depends on buoyancy gradient and wind forcing in different ways,depending on local topography, orientation toward the main wind direction, and influence by freshwaterrun off inside or outside the tidal basin.

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